Brexit: Treasury chief calls EU exit a 'big success'
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In fact, the Government has vowed to make the UK a life sciences “superpower” in the next 10 years. Life sciences encompass pathology, genetics and reproductive science. It seeks to solve some of the biggest issues of our generation, like cancer, dementia and obesity. Much of the success of the vaccine roll-out should be owed to the UK’s already strong life science sector.
The Government claims that thanks to Brexit, it will be easier to run clinical trials and could make it become the breeding ground “for innovative and ground-breaking trials of life-saving medicines”.
This was all revealed in the Government’s new report – The Benefits of Brexit: How we the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU.
The report reads: “Brexit gives us the opportunity to design a world-class sovereign regulatory environment for clinical trials.”
It adds that this will “support the development of innovative medicines and ensure that the UK retains and grows its reputation as a world-leading base for life sciences, generating opportunities for skilled jobs in the UK”.
As well as the potential to save more lives, the boost to the life sciences sector has the potential to generate colossal amounts of profit for the UK.
The announcement comes after the sector has already seen a significant boost in recent years, including over £6.6billion in investment in the first 10 months of 2021, a tenfold increase from 2012.
It also saw an £89billion turnover; with exports goods worth around £30 billion annually, and it created 268,000 high-value jobs.
And now that Britain has set up the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, along with The Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021, clinical trials are poised to speed up.
The report reads: “We will make it faster and easier to run trials in the UK, compared to international comparators.
“This will support patients to access pioneering safe, new treatments faster.
“We have already worked with industry to help remove barriers to setting up trials within our NHS.”
Back in July 2021, the Government set out its Life Sciences Vision.
This is part of the 10-year strategy to boost the sector.
Some of the goals include speeding up studies into dementia, allowing early diagnostics and treatments, and slashing deaths from respiratory illnesses.
It also aims to maintain Britain’s strong position in vaccine discovery, development and manufacturing.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are indebted to the ingenuity of UK life sciences and its pioneers, with the discovery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the seamless collaboration between our scientists, industry, regulators and NHS saving millions of lives during the pandemic.
“We must make sure this is the norm and use this new way of working to search for life-changing breakthroughs against diseases such as cancer, dementia and obesity, as we have done with COVID.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The UK life sciences sector has been a beacon of hope over the past year and a half, developing diagnostics and life-saving vaccines at remarkable speed to secure our route out of the pandemic.
“We’re going to build a pro-enterprise environment where our life sciences firms can access the finance to grow, are incentivised to onshore manufacturing, and can commercialise breakthrough products right here in the UK – rather than elsewhere – as we cement the UK’s position as a science superpower.”
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